With all the publicity about the “miraculous” effects of stem cell therapy, the Department of Health (DOH) should prepare itself for the possibility that the new procedure would be performed by unqualified, and completely clueless, people.
I passed a beauty parlor recently and saw a huge poster on its door announcing the “arrival” of stem cell therapy. I was instantly reminded of botched breast enhancement and nose “jobs” performed by salon personnel who seemed to think it was as easy to learn complicated surgical procedures as it was to train to cut hair or do manicures and pedicures.
The DOH should start warning the public not to fall for these special offers just because they are available at giveaway rates.
‘Modern lifestyle’ problem
Experts have repeatedly talked about problems brought about by modern lifestyles. Changing diets and stress are two of the best known. Dr. Jaime G. Ignacio, section chief of gastroenterology at Veterans Hospital and head of the Digestive Malignancy Council of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology, said constipation could be one of the consequences of the combination of these two factors.
Speaking at an event hosted by Boehringer Ingelheim, maker of Dulcolax (generic name Bisacodyl), a formulation for constipation relief, Ignacio, who, as a gastroenterologist is a specialist in digestive system disorders, defined the problem as having fewer than three bowel movements in a week (normal ranges from three times a week to three times a day).
He said constipation itself was not a disease but it could sometimes be a symptom of something serious, like colorectal cancer. But he said about 95 percent of cases were “acute”—occurring suddenly and lasting for only a short period—resulting from some sudden lifestyle or hormonal changes, the taking of medication, lack of exercise, etc.
Ignacio said acute was easy to treat, with products like Dulcolax to solve the problem. But, if left unattended, acute constipation could lead to a chronic or long-term condition, which was the more worrisome, and would need medical attention.
He said constipation should be treated as soon as the problem had lasted for four or more days.
“Constipation is part of modern living. [Like other diseases] prevention is the key. Safe and effective treatment is available [if needed],” Ignacio stressed.
Dr. Dalisay I. Arceo-Dalisay, head of the medical department of Boehringer Ingelheim Philippines, said Dulcolax was effective because of its “comfort coating.” This meant that its active ingredients were released only in the colon, and not in the stomach so “it is effective at the site where it [can have the most impact in easing the problem].”
She said Dulcolax, which is available in tablet, suppository and syrup, was the “most prescribed laxative in the Philippines” and the “number one in the world.”
The Home Development Mutual Fund, aka Pag-ibig, inaugurated its first mall-based satellite center in Robinsons Galleria’s Lingkod Pinoy Center, Level 1. It will provide such services as membership registration, online verification and/or transfer of records.
Prospective or existing Pag-ibig members can now also go to mall-based centers at Robinsons Place Manila, Robinsons Metro East, Robinsons Santa Rosa Market, Robinsons Nova Market, Robinsons Place Dasmariñas (Cavite), Robinsons Place Imus (Cavite), Robinsons Starmills Pampanga and Robinsons Luisita (Tarlac).
As malls are usually accessible by different kinds of public transportation, having Pag-ibig centers in these places will certainly be a great convenience to members.
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